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BLACK AND WHITE MANDELBROT_edited_edited

Curator

roohallah M.

The visionary behind the experience

As someone who has personally experienced the prison system, I understand the immense struggles and barriers that incarcerated individuals face in terms of accessing resources and opportunities. My time in prison allowed me to rediscover my love for the arts. I saw firsthand how it provided a powerful outlet for expression and healing. This realization inspired me to create the Prison Art Experience, an organization dedicated to providing a platform for incarcerated and formerly incarerated artists to showcase their work and earn equitable income. I believe that Art is the 6th love language and through artistic expressions, we can help shift societal perspectives and help create a more understanding world. My passion and commitment to this cause drives me to work tirelessly to support these artists and advocate for change within the criminal justice system.

CPR: State Capitol Art Show
CPR story telling event: Old Life, New Life

Past Exhibitions

Roohallah Mobarez
  • Creating Community in Confinement (2024): For the spring 2024 art exhibition at the Colorado State Capitol, Prison Art Experience and Impact Arts have partnered to produce Creating Community in Confinement. This exhibition features work by artists that are currently or were formerly incarcerated in the state of Colorado, all reflecting on their experience of community while serving time and the important ways that art-making and creativity can foster a sense of connection. 

  • Reenter Remerg Reform (2022): A unique collaboration between two unlikely organizations brought forth a unique storytelling event with hauntingly beautiful poetry, gripping short films, compositions and performances created by those with current and past justice involvement. In addition to co-directing and co-hosting the event, my artistic contribution consisted of showcasing some resilient emerging leaders within Denver's reentry network. 

  • 'Old Life, New Life' Story Telling Event (2022): As a co-producer to the Colorado Public Radio event, I had the privilege in working closely with the CPR production team to help create a live story-telling experience that allowed justice-involved individuals the opportunity to tell their stories in their own words. "Old Life, New Life" was a theme to remind listeners that our experiences may differ, but our shared humanities and want for better remains intact, regardless of past decisions. 

  • Echoes from the Cell (2022): My first exhibition, held at DenverWork's office during the Santa Fe First Friday art walk, featured a unique display of artwork from incarcerated and formerly incarcerated artists. To symbolize the prison environment, I incorporated chain link fences to hang the artwork, creating an impactful and thought-provoking experience for visitors. The exhibit aimed to highlight the many talented artists with lived experiences while challenging stigmas individuals face.

  • The Lived Experience Concert (2022): As the event curator; I was tasked to execute all logistics involving artists, online fundraising needs, silent auction needs, catering, media relations and venue needs. From powerful paintings, to heartfelt storytelling and a profound video presentation, the exhibition was a testament to the depth and breadth of talent among those with lived experience. In addition to creating and managing all logistical elements, I had the pleasure and privilege to premiere several artistic presentations, my favorite being "Echoes from Inside", a gripping representation of how incarceration ripple effects into the lives of our loved ones.

Featured On

  • Colorado Public Radio: 2024

    • “Second chances are great & everyone deserves one. So I want to say that to the artists, if they're listening by chance - great work. & I wish that in the future that things will go well for you.” - Harrison W. Sr.​​​

  • The Denverite: 2022 

    • ​“I’m not a victim here. But I want people to understand that there’s real human beings that are in prison that can still contribute positively to the world around them, given the opportunity.” - Claud K.

  • Colorado Public Radio: 2022

    • ​"I know what it feels like to have integrity. I know what it feels like to have character.  And I don't want to trade that for anything." - David C.

  • Banded4good: 2022

    • "If I can do my part in lowering the barrier and helping somebody else in advocating, then that's what I need to do. That's what I find the purpose in" - Roohallah M.

  • Inside Wire: Colorado Prison Radio: 2022

    • "Currently incarcerated participants had their works displayed in the entrance of the gallery, strategically displayed behind fencing. Adding to the reality of their current situation." - Seth R. 

  • The Denver Post: 2022

    • "I feel like I need to tell my story because maybe it helps me deal with what I’ve been through, but also maybe I feel some deep-seated need to show people I’m not a bad person,”  - Ashley F. 

  • Colorado Public Radio: 2022

    • "I also felt there was an incredible vulnerability through his story, and a humility there, that made it really easy to create to.”  - Conrad K.

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